Thinking and modelling Systems-Oriented Solutions for Sustainability


More effective solutions to complex problems

In an increasingly interconnected, complex and rapidly changing world, decision makers in every sector should develop a deep understanding of their systems of interest and other systems that affect them. This is particularly crucial for contributing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, in which both public and private institutions are called to interdisciplinary action in social, economic and environmental systems, with collaborative perspectives in the long-term.

The aim of this School is to provide scholars, researchers and professionals, from a variety of fields or backgrounds, with theories, methodologies and tools to understand the root causes of the complex problems in sustainability, and to identify systemic solutions. These methodologies and tools consist in the possibility to create shareable models (qualitative, quantitative and dynamic) through which organizations can enhance their understanding about the complexity at stake and can align their efforts in the implementation of the SDGs.

The learning and teaching approach of the School is collaborative and challenge-based: each participant will develop their own dynamic models and will implement them in Silico®, an open access simulation environment. The experience will be enriched with group exercises from the Systems Thinking Playbook (Booth Sweeney, Meadows) on systems thinking skills (which will constitute also the fun part of the School).


An added value for participants is that, even though the activities will be initially differentiated for scholars and for professionals in order to align competences, the practical exercises will be developed in mixed working groups, thus improving the learnings from experience sharing and different perspectives.

Beneficiaries: anyone interested in understanding and interacting with systems associated with the complex environmental, social, and economic problems of sustainability and unsustainability. They will be aggregated into two main groups:

Academics and scholars: postgraduate students, researchers, educators and trainers

Professionals: civil servants, consultants, managers, practitioners

Assuming different availability of time and different previous experiences, the start of learning activities at the School has been set slightly differently for the two groups:

  • for Academics: activities start on September 12
  • for Professionals: activities start on September 14

For further details, see the full Program.

The school has been organized by System Dynamic Italian Chapter (SYDIC)

SYDIC is the Italian national branch of the System Dynamics Society ( The Chapter has been founded back in 1995 but legally recognized by the Italian Law as a Cultural Association for Social Promotion, in 2015. The mission of SYDIC is to support the SD Society to promote, spread out and disseminate the wide use and uptake of the system dynamics methodology and, more in general, of all systemic approaches to modelling & simulation at national and international level. SYDIC counts around 60 ordinary associates from all over Italy and a few also from abroad, as well as a wider audience of around 200 volunteer associates (members of our community, they signed up on the website and mailing list). Among its members, SYDIC includes experts, consultants and entrepreneurs interested in the System Dynamics methodology in various ways, as well as several top-notch scholars from the Italian academic & scientific community (Research Centers and Universities in Rome, Milan, Bologna, Turin, Naples, Genoa, Firenze, Palermo, etc.), representing knowledge and competences from Management & Social Sciences to Engineering and Natural Sciences. SYDIC is currently deeply involved in disseminating and promoting the uptake of Systems Thinking & System Dynamics at various levels, from the Primary and Secondary education to the development of such competencies in youngsters and adults in managing positions. Additionally, SYDIC is promoting the Systems Thinking approach also in various vertical sectors, especially by means of the development of research projects (already a few important experiences at national and international level).


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Immagine 2022-07-13 135549